As the baby boomers enter retirement age, they are faced with the decision as to whether they should keep the home in which they raised their family or sell it for a “downsized” dream home. In today’s “hot” housing market, there is a low inventory of homes in the “down-sizing home” category. One option is to evaluate your current home’s ability to adapt to your needs. Another option is to sell and move on.
Below are several factors to consider that may affect your decision to downsize once you reach retirement age.

1. Affordability
Money is always the first thing that comes to mind when deciding on retirement; there is your monthly budget to consider. A lot of people have paid off their mortgage at this point in life, but there are still utility bills, insurance, and general upkeep on the homes. Questions to consider: Do you need all that space for one or two people? Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated?

2. Equity
The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with a low or no mortgage. If that is the case, that leaves you with extra money to put into a new home and gain some equity as well. When your family grows and leaves the nest, you may also consider other options such as new cities and counties. Maybe you bought your house based off a desired school district for your children, but now you don’t have that necessity for staying.

3. Maintenance
As mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself? Our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves, shoveling snow, or mowing the lawn goes out the window when we age. A condo with low-maintenance could be a lifesaver when your health or physical abilities decline.

4. Security
Elderly homeowners can be targets for scammers or theives. Any additional security is helpful, whether it be to move to a gated community, install a security system, or adopt a protective pet to add peace of mind.

5. Pets
Consider all of your options when it comes to bringing your Furever friend with you to a new home. Are there any restrictions to having a pet in the neighborhood you choose? Will there be necessary additional deposits if you decide to rent? Is the backyard fenced in?

6. Mobility
People are living longer and more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t need your home to be more accessible down the road. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that is built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience
Think about what your hobbies are on a day to day basis. Will it be a challenge to travel to an activity? Are there communities that offer these things without having to travel? Are you close to your favorite stores and restaurants? How close are you to your children and grandchildren in case you need some help? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent?

Bottom line is this: you need to evaluate your current housing situation and make sure it has the ability to adapt with you as you age. If after considering all these factors, you find yourself curious about your options, contact Team Anderson Realty at 919-610-5126, and we will talk about your options as you head into retirement! After all, these are the best days of your life, and you should enjoy them in a comfortable and affordable way!